About Dzogchen and
Ugi: Topic suggestion:
• Pointing-Out Instructions / Giving direct introduction
I think it would be very helpful to discuss this essential topic with the group and also dicuss the practicality of it. Maybe discussing some of its traditional aspects (in Dzogchen/Mahamudra/Tantra) aswell as the way Rinpoche is doing it in Pemako.
Kim: Even those who have one bhumi open can say "something" about the natural state but we have to remember that in atiyoga, which is the speartip teaching of all yogas and tantras, "something" is not good enough.
Writing this I recalled one of the famous dzogchen masters of this time, who gave direct introductions/DI's on regular basis, say that his rigpa "lasts 3 seconds" at a time. The problem of this is instantly apparent because you can't really be a dzogchen master, a master of the natural state, unless you have stabilized it, i.e. live in the recognition at least half of the time. Few second recognitions is a sign of not having stabilized it. This also reveals the meaning of having mahasiddha bhumis open because if they are open, recognition takes place more than half of the time. Few seconds of recognition at a time happens when 9th or 10th bhumis are open. So, strictly from the point of view of dzogchen atiyoga, my stand is that anyone who hasn't stable recognition cannot give DI's... but there is another way, that of tantra.
In tantra, the teacher or instructor in question hands over the reigns to the lineage masters who then, through blessings and empowerments, has responsibility of the passing on of the nature of mind. This is excellent way to reveal the basic state and bring seekers to help but to be clear this is tantra and tantric guru yoga, not dzogchen.
There is always some sort of transmission taking place when anyone teaches. Anyone who posits her/himself in front of others is instantly in a position of influence verbally, physically and energetically. But, like I said, DI's are a very very specific thing in the whole world of yogic and tantric practices.
I've seen some zen people say that there is/was no difference when they were in the company of their zen masters and then with dzogchen masters. Well, in that case, I don't think they got the DI. Mahayana comes close to the results of vajrayana but close in these things means worlds away. Someone on bhumi 10 has actually dualistic samsaric vision while someone on 11 doesn't. Even having cleared up 99% of the karmas on 1-10 bhumis is subtle but vast difference to a 11th bhumi mahasiddha. A drop of poison in a large tank of fresh water spoils the whole body of water... The difference gets greater and greater the farther back we go in bhumi perfection.
Because Mahayana schools don't make use of the subtle energy charge of the lineage and refuge, it all is really dependent on the particular teacher and her/his degree of insight, whether or not their transmission is valid from the point of view of dzogchen. There is partial knowledge coming from partial amount of experience and absolute knowledge coming from full enlightenment. Having a vajrayana lineage assures that the empowerments and transmissions, in whatever form or way they are given, is complete, 100% legit and covers the whole range of bhumis, as well as the realisation bodies of enlightenment, known as trikaya. It is because of this aspect why a single vajrayana empowerment and instructions from a legit lineage holder can really change everything in one's life (for the better!).
Even though sutra and tantra methods have the same result potentially, potential and the actual result are two entirely different things. All beings have buddhanature, right? Well, how many actually realise it in full? The statistics are dramatically different between sutra, tantra and dzogchen, and even between different methods within tantra or dzogchen. But to reach good connection in dharma that can fully tap all of that inner potential, one has to have excellent karmic connections and significant ripeness or readiness which is what merit means.
In the big picture, things ripen really really slowly... but that's just how it is for most people. Some who meet those requirements might jump out of the whole vast wheel of samsaric transmigration in few short years of practice and attain buddhahood by purifying the subtle body of 10 bhumis. That is something to consider, isn't it?